We’re always curious about well-hidden gems of any place, especially cafés and eateries around Ipoh. Our beloved town has become home to many that possess their own uniqueness.
Have you heard of the term ‘smart home cafe’? Ipoh Echo visited ABOF Gifts & Cakes to learn all about it!
Located along Jalan Raja Ekram, the café is next to Wakong Lighting and on the first floor above M2 Lighting & Living. Walk up the stairs and you’ll see a café featuring a modern, yet simple decor.
We spoke to the owner, 39-year-old Derrick Moo, born and bred in Ipoh, whose spark of creativity motivated him to open his own café.
“I only started to get into the scene of making desserts last year. Previously, I helped out with my family’s business,” he stated.
ABOF had its official launch on September 19, although it wasn’t until earlier this month that Derrick started to open for business to the public.
“I went to ABC Cooking Studio in Kuala Lumpur last year to learn the ins and outs of baking. If there’s anything that I’ve truly grasped, it’s to not be ordinary. I constantly experiment with whatever’s possible when an idea comes to mind.
“That being said, my menu only has a catalogue for drinks, because the desserts I make are subject to daily availability,” Derrick explained.
For beverages, he recommends the rose latté for caffeine lovers.
“The chocolate rose latté is equally as aromatic for non-caffeine consumers. I source my rose petals from Italy which lets out just enough floral aroma without becoming an overwhelming scent,” Derrick said.
According to him, he would like for customers to get their money’s worth in ABOF, and most importantly, to enjoy desserts and remember the good experience.
“Eating desserts is supposed to be an enjoyable moment, more so with friends.
“It’s also part of the reason I named the café ‘ABOF’, which is an abbreviation for ‘a bunch of friends’,” he mentioned.
“Besides, my ultimate goal is to make affordable desserts that both look good and taste good. One shouldn’t have to pay an awful lot to truly enjoy desserts.”
The café is based on a smart home café design, which emphasizes coziness.
“A smart home café looks like a studio apartment, but equipped with sofas, coffee machines and a working space,” Derrick told us.
“Truth to be told, the café being on the first floor goes well with its name which is homophonous to ‘above’,” he quipped.
The café space also caters for private events, such as product and event launching or parties.
“One just needs to call me to specify the duration and number of guests. Rates are subject to the host’s requests,” Derrick mentioned.
We were showered with Derrick’s kindness when he treated us to a variety of desserts and pastries like their signatures, the burnt cheesecake tower and the burnt brownies tower.
“It’s pretty common to see burnt cheesecakes and brownie cakes being offered at other places. But I chose to present both in a tower-like appearance. It seems random but it’s my intended presentation of both desserts,” he explained.
Other notable choices include the burnt matcha cheesecake tart, croissant, a range of mini cream cheese tarts and strudels. Also worth highlighting was the multitude of tea choices.
“Courtesy of Sticksology, their tea sticks are very environment-friendly,” Derrick enthused. “Conventional tea needs time to be ready for sipping, where some are left to simmer or be dipped in hot water.
“With Sticksology, one just needs to stir the tea stick and voila, the cup of tea’s ready to sip,” he elaborated. “I’d say that their packaging is smart indeed.”
Each selection of tea flavour costs RM7 per cup, while a box of Sticksology can be bought at RM45 for 15 sticks per box.
This scribe adores the chocolate rose latté which features the rich aroma of cocoa, only to be further elevated by the pièce de résistance, the rose petals. Honestly, is there a better pairing than chocolate with rose?
The croissant and cookies are also this scribe’s personal favourites. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, the croissant is truly unique, coming from Derrick. The cookies are baked enough to provide some further crunchiness, but also tastes just right so as to not bore one’s appetite.
This scribe aside, more reviews from others below…
Gisele Soo—“With a breath of fresh air, and unlike the typical, conventional dessert, I was surprised when Derrick said his dessert menu ‘varies’ based on his inspiration of the day.
“What’s definitely appealing is that most of his desserts are priced below RM10 and made in-house. The burnt cheesecake and brownies presented in the form of a tower deserves an ‘A’ for creativity. I also spent a good 15 minutes taking pictures because the place looks totally Instagram-able.”
Tan Mei Kuan—“On my first visit, I especially liked the attention that goes into the preparation of the daily desserts and pastries—from the premium ingredient selection and not-overly-sweet taste to the unique presentation. It looked as awesome as it tasted, perhaps even better! Yet it is reasonably priced. (Yes, you get your money’s worth!)
“As the space is brimming with contemporary aesthetics, it calls for Instagram-worthy shots while chilling. Did I mention that I purchased a whole box of Sticksology after trying a cup during dine-in?”
ABOF Gifts & Cakes opens daily from 10am to 6pm, except Sundays and Mondays. Derrick may be contacted at 016 220 7770 for reservations.
Address: 10, Jalan Raja Ekram, Taman Jubilee, 30450 Ipoh, Perak